- China hoarding gold to challenge U.S. dollar?
by Eric McWhinnie, The Cheat Sheet, http://www.usatoday.com/
In a world filled with fiat currencies, how important is gold’s role in the financial system? Proponents often view the precious metal as a hedge against economic chaos, while critics typically claim gold is hardly more than an unproductive rock. Interestingly, some countries appear to believe gold is quite important, and one former Fed chair explains why.
Alan Greenspan, who served at the helm of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, recently penned an op-ed for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing gold and its possible role in China, the world’s second-largest economy. He notes that if China converted only a “relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system.”
Greenspan also believes the downside risks for China stockpiling gold are limited, at least from a pure investment point of view. “It would be a gamble, of course, for China to use part of its reserves to buy enough gold bullion to displace the United States from its position as the world’s largest holder of monetary gold,” he wrote. “But the penalty for being wrong, in terms of lost interest and the cost of storage, would be modest.”